content marketing

In recent weeks, I’ve read and watched tales of two very different entrepreneurs who both led their companies to calamity. They marketed a product or event well before it was ready in order to gain publicity and investors. In both instances, a contractor (among many others) hired to do marketing eventually challenged the CEOs to prove they could do as advertised or pull back on claims. This is perhaps one of the prickly parts of being...

Marketers vs. Makers: What Happens When They Don’t Play Well Together

November 2018

The Price of Privacy

We thought we’d offer a break from all the U.S. elections coverage to focus on what some elected officials recently did in our area of expertise: privacy and cybersecurity. Several legislators have introduced consumer data protection laws, but so far only one major bill has passed at the state, versus federal, level. Earlier this year, California legislators passed the nation’s most stringent consumer privacy law to date. It’s modeled in the image of the European...

The Price of Privacy

When the #deletefacebook movement erupted, my business partner Maureen joked, “Perhaps we’ll soon follow up our ‘Why We Dumped Twitter’ post with one about why we dropped Facebook.” But we haven’t dropped Facebook, at least not yet. Yes, our engagement stats recently dropped significantly, even before the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which highlighted just how loose Facebook’s privacy policies have been and how invasive its business model really is. Some of the drop-off is basic attribution;...

Why We Haven’t Dropped Facebook…Yet

If you’re spending the majority of your resources writing audacious advertising claims to promote your brand, products and services, then stop. In the age of self-educating customers, you need to be offering high-quality content that’s educational, thoughtful and entertaining. Here’s six tips on how to redirect your marketing efforts for effective results. 1. Know thy brand strategy. Your company’s ultimate purpose for existing (beyond making money) and your target customer are at the core of...

Six Tips to Make Your Content Educational, Thoughtful, Entertaining and Effective

I have a friend who routinely keeps her cars in great condition even after they surpass the 200,000-, 300,000- and, once, 400,00-mileage mark. She swears the key to her automobile longevity is maintenance. She routinely gets tune-ups and oil changes on a set schedule – even when a manufacturer’s recommendation seems excessive. A car isn’t the same as content marketing, but they do have something in common: both need routine maintenance to keep working as...

Is Your Content in Need of a Tune-Up?

As a marketer, you fully understand that today’s buying process demands more content production in order to feed self-educating purchasers with irresistible narratives throughout the buyer’s journey. You are flush with appealing content ideas that will attract, engage, convert and nurture your target audience. Implementation, however, is another issue. Audiences want content that provides real value and has emotional appeal. There’s likely wonderful stories to tell about how your team, products or services helped solve...

Closing the Content Marketing Implementation Gap

Your marketing objectives list is long: acquire new customers; increase brand relevance; establish your brand as a thought leader; create new leads and nurture them with stage- or interest-specific content; and so on. To further complicate matters, you’re short on time and in-house talent. Using words and imagery, you’re tasked with building a lead-generating system that nurtures leads from early-stage shoppers to late-stage buyers … and don’t forget the ongoing retention and loyalty-building content requirements....

How to Choose and Collaborate with a Content Partner

Tennis star Serena Williams and fiancé Alexis Ohanian recently announced the birth of their daughter, according to Huffpost. (OK … so I was indulging in Facebook posts before writing this blog … my attention span waned a tad due to a red-eye flight and little sleep.) What struck me in the reporting was a quote by Reddit co-founder Ohanian as he described his first chance meeting with Williams. “I felt like a door had been...

The Importance of Conveying Your Company’s Core Values Through Content Marketing

Years ago, Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Chabon and Art Spiegelman spoke to a group of would-be authors about the creative life. Among their advice: If you want to be a writer or cartoonist don’t do it for your day job. You won’t get better with practice; you’ll burn out and fail to finish. Since then I’ve witnessed the wisdom behind those remarks, backed by personal experience and neuroscience. Our brains need breaks to be more...

Give It a Rest: To Be Creative, Take a Break

Every year I do something that pulls me so far beyond my comfort zone that I eventually ponder my own mortality. This year, it’s hiking in highly remote sections of the Southwest where the terrain can be tough and the weather deadly. That is, after all, why I sign on to do these things. If  you don’t have days that scare the hell out of you—that push you past your comfort zone—you are not taking...

Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone